Stanton to quit PUP and run for Ipswich city seat
IPSWICH businessman Anthony Stanton is set to resign his membership of the Palmer United Party and has his sights set on contesting the next Ipswich City Council elections in the division held by Cr Andrew Antoniolli.
Mr Stanton, who performed strongly at the last federal election, is not happy with the direction PUP is taking and intends to use his broad life experience as a lawyer, Ipswich business owner and member of the armed forces to serve the community as a councillor.
Mr Stanton, who owns Ipswich restaurant Viva Italia, views PUP party leader Clive Palmer's successful push for a wide-ranging senate inquiry into the Queensland Government as more about getting back at Premier Campbell Newman than the public good.
"I am not going to stand again for PUP," Mr Stanton told the QT.
"I have my eye on a different goal. I'm thinking about having a go at the next council election as an independent.
"A lot of people are dissatisfied with Labor and Liberal and the idea that Clive originally had, to present a political party that was neither left nor right but based on common sense, is what attracted me to the party.
"But it has become pretty clear that Clive is more about pushing his agendas and particularly trying to get some payback on Campbell Newman which is not necessarily helpful to the wider community I don't think. Up until that point Clive had an agenda to push and everybody knew about it, but it wasn't all consuming to his political aims.
"Now that he has pushed that (Senate inquiry) through, I think it is going to be a huge waste of money for no legitimate outcome. It is probably a symbol of why he got into politics, but that is not something I want to be associated with.
"So I am resigning from the party and I will be remaining independent."
Mr Stanton, who has ruled out running at the next state election, was a member of the National Party. His political leanings are conservative but he forged a reputation at the last federal election for his common sense approach to issues and not being beholden to ideology.
"I have a small business in the area and I am interested in local politics and being able to help on the issues that matter on a day-to-day basis to people in the local community," Mr Stanton said.
"What I also have to offer is a big picture outlook on what matters to big business, from my professional career as a lawyer and defence officer.
"Combine that with my in-depth knowledge of day-to-day issues facing small business on the ground in Ipswich, particularly in the CBD and the older part of town.
"I am definitely interested in Andrew Antoniolli's Division 7. I understand the struggle of small businesses to stay afloat and the challenge of keeping shoppers within Ipswich rather than going to Brisbane to get things. I have a broad appreciation for the broader political issues that impact people's day-to-day decisions on the ground.
"I don't live in the Ipswich city area. I live in Karana Downs. But my business is in Division 7. My son goes to school at St Edmund's. It is central Ipswich where I spend most of my time.
"I share the fate of all other small businesses and workers. I will be a straight shooter and call things as I see them. Hopefully I will win over some Labor people because I am not really a conservative they can take offence at."
Along with owning and operating his Ipswich restaurant, Mr Stanton is the in-house lawyer and business manager for construction company Geocal. He spent 16 years in the army and the navy as a soldier, tank crewman and navy lawyer.